I have been re-thinking the advice that the only way to sell bbq in Texas is with a giant offset. I really don't see how the dog and pony show will hurt business if the product is good. To the masses, even the bbq savvy in Austin will be impressed enough with a big ol SP or OH with a stack of split wood next to it that is going into the pit. I don't see how having propane assist will hurt...my Gator pit has a gas assist log lighter. Even if cooking overnight unattended isn't a possibility, just having the extra time, not constantly baby sitting the fire will be worth while. Every little bit helps for cranking out the prep, sides, sauces and rubs (will eventually be looking into a co packer to make these for me as a time saver for service, selling out of the trailer and marketing to retailers...but 1 thing at a time..that is a long way off before I devote any thought into it.) Essentially I don't see how a dog and pony show can outweigh the consistency of a giant insulated smoker with a temp control system that is basically on stoker or guru on steroids with the basting action and capacity of rotating racks, not to mention a 80% oak 20% pecan will make great smoke rings and flavor.
I will have to hire a helper as my wife will be keeping her day job. So again point well taken. So I wont have a second shift. At some point if ZI find the right person who has worked with me for a long time and proven to be trustworthy it could be considered at that point. So with a traditional stick burner, I would be heading for burn out. Right now I am a cable tech and work 10-16 hour days, 6 days a week for very little reward, and it is a far cry from bbq and I can handle that. The outlook of being able to entertain folks with great food, a smile and maybe a joke will make those kind of hours even easier, but limitations have to be realistic. So your advise was welcomed and received.
Gator BYCC 24"
Weber 22.5" kettle